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Corporate Culture

Definition: A blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time

Whether written as a mission statement, spoken or merely understood, corporate culture describes and governs the ways a company's owners and employees think, feel and act. Your own business's culture may be based on beliefs spelled out in your mission statement. It could consist in part of a corporate symbol, like the rainbow-colored apple that symbolizes Apple Computer. Whatever shape it takes, your corporate culture plays a big role in determining how well your business will do.

If you're not happy with your current culture, there are things you can do to start changing it now. Look for a symbol, story, ritual or other tool you could use to bring out the values and practices you want for your company. Your cultural tool might be a new corporate logo symbolizing your company's personality. Or you could choose a story to embody your approach and make it part of your culture. If you can't find a tool, make one. For example, you can turn an admired former employee into a symbol by giving an award named after that individual, complete with ritual ceremony.

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